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Choosing reusable cloth diapers is a big decision that can lead to a rewarding journey for you and your baby. But where do you start? Here are the most commonly asked questions on how to start your cloth diaper journey.

Nicki's Diapers is a family business founded by Nicki and later joined by her husband Jesse. As a husband and wife team, they worked together to ensure the highest quality products while following responsible environmental and social business practices. The company is now located in Akron, Ohio.

When Should I Pack My Hospital Bag?

If you're reading this, you're probably pregnant and wondering, “When should I pack my hospital bag?” It's a common question among expectant mothers, and understandably so. It's important to keep in mind that babies can arrive earlier than the expected due date. So, having your hospital bag packed and ready to go can give you peace of mind and ensure that you're prepared for the sudden arrival of a new one!

The timing of when to pack your hospital bag is up to you, and can depend on various factors—such as your medical history, distance to the hospital, personal preference, multiple pregnancies, and cultural or religious traditions. But the most important thing is to trust your instincts and pack your bag when it feels right for you!

In this blog post, we'll explore when to pack a hospital bag, what to pack, and a few helpful tips to ensure you're well-prepared for the big day.

When Should You Start Packing Your Hospital Bag?

The short answer to this question is that you should start to pack your hospital bag by the time you reach 30 weeks of pregnancy and have it ready by 35 weeks. This gives you plenty of time to gather everything you need and ensure that you're fully prepared for the arrival of your little one. 

However, if you have a high-risk pregnancy or if your doctor has advised that you may need to deliver early, it's best to pack your bag a little earlier, around 32 weeks.

when to pack hospital bag

Stay Calm and Do What’s Right for You

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the process of preparing for childbirth, but remember that you are the expert on your own body and your own needs. If you're feeling uncertain about when to pack your hospital bag, try to tune out any external pressures or advice and focus on what feels best for you.

If you're someone who likes to be extra prepared, go ahead and pack your bag early so you can check that off your to-do list. If you're someone who prefers to take things as they come, that's okay too! Just make sure you have a plan in place so you're not scrambling at the last minute.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to feel confident and comfortable with your decision. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing or what the "right" answer is. As long as you have the essentials packed and ready to go, you'll be good to take on whatever comes your way during labor and delivery. And who knows, maybe your baby will decide to throw you a curveball and come earlier or later than you anticipated. But with your hospital bag packed and ready to go, you can rest easy knowing that you're as prepared as you can be for any unexpected surprises and can minimize stress during labor and delivery.

At the end of the day, the most critical aspect is to feel confident and comfortable with your decision. Don't stress about what others are doing or what the "right" answer is. As long as you have the essentials packed and ready to go, you're prepared to take on whatever labor and delivery bring. Your baby may decide to surprise you and come earlier or later than you anticipated, but with your hospital bag ready, you can rest easy knowing you're as prepared as can be for any unexpected twists.

You can read our blog article, pregnancy checklist by month, to know more about your amazing pregnancy experience.

The Checklist: What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag?

Now that we've answered the question of “when should you pack your hospital bag,” let's talk about what to pack. Here are some things you may want to consider including in your hospital bag.

For Mom:

  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes to wear during labor and after delivery

  • Nursing bras and breast pads

  • Maternity pads

  • Toiletries, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and soap

  • Hair ties or headbands

  • Slippers or flip-flops

  • Robe or comfortable loungewear

  • Going-home outfit

  • Any medication you are currently taking

  • Snacks and drinks

  • Phone charger and camera

For Baby:

cloth diapers for newborn


  • Onesies, sleepers, and other comfortable outfits

  • Swaddling blankets

  • Newborn cloth diapers and wipes

  • Infant car seat

  • Hat and mittens

  • Burp cloths

  • Going-home outfit

More items to consider:

  • Birth plan and any necessary paperwork

  • Insurance card and ID

  • Support person's personal items, including comfortable clothes and toiletries

  • Entertainment, such as books, magazines, or a tablet

  • Comfort items, such as a favorite pillow or blanket

  • Nipple cream and other postpartum recovery items, such as stool softeners

For those planning to breastfeed, consider including a few more items specific to this process. A nursing pillow can be a great comfort both during and after delivery. Breastfeeding-friendly tops and dresses may also make the process more comfortable for you. If you're using a breast pump, pack this along with all necessary components and accessories.

It's important to keep in mind that you may be in the hospital for several days, so pack enough clothing and personal items to last for the duration of your stay. It's also a good idea to pack for various scenarios, such as unexpected complications or a longer hospital stay. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider for any additional items they recommend you pack.

Note: Remember to also check with your hospital or birthing center to make sure they provide any essential items for you and your baby, such as hospital gowns, diapers, or baby blankets.

If you've decided to cloth diaper your baby, you might be wondering if you need to pack reusable cloth diapers in your hospital bag. The good news is, you don't have to! Many hospitals provide disposable diapers for newborns during their stay. However, if you want to bring a few cloth diapers with you, feel free to do so. Just be aware that you'll need to take them home to wash, so keep that process in mind. Alternatively, you can choose to start cloth diapering once you get home. There's no need to rush into it—those cloth diaper benefits will still be there when you get home. It can be a good way to ease into the routine of caring for a newborn.

A Little Guidance: Tips for Packing Your Hospital Bag

When preparing for a hospital stay, it's essential to have a well-packed hospital bag that contains all the essentials you'll need during your stay. Here are some tips to help you pack your hospital bag:

  • It's a good idea to pack your hospital bag a few weeks before your due date or scheduled hospital stay.

  • Make a list of everything you'll need, including essentials for you and your baby. This will help you stay organized and ensure you don't forget anything important.

    things in the hospital bag

  • A bag that fits everything makes it easier for your partner or support person to find things when needed. They can simply grab the bag and know that everything they need is in there, rather than having to search through multiple bags or try to remember where something is.

  • If your partner or support person will be staying with you, make sure to consider their essentials as well, including clothes, toiletries, and entertainment items.

  • When your items are organized and folded neatly, you can easily find what you need without having to rummage through your bag. This can save you time and stress, especially during moments when you need something quickly.

See Related: Tips For The First Trimester 

Understanding the Key Differences Between a Labor Bag and a Postpartum Bag

A hospital bag can serve multiple purposes, but some women have both a labor bag and a postpartum bag. Here are some specific differences between the two bags:

  1. Purpose: The labor bag is used during labor and delivery, while the postpartum bag is used after delivery to help new mothers take care of themselves and their babies during the first few days post-birth.

  2. Contents: The labor bag typically contains items to help with pain management comfort items during labor, while the postpartum bag contains items to help with recovery and breastfeeding.

  3. Size: The labor bag can be smaller and more compact, while the postpartum bag tends to be larger and more spacious to accommodate the items needed for both the mother and the baby.

  4. Timing: A labor bag is typically packed and brought to the hospital or birthing center when labor begins, while a postpartum bag may be packed ahead of time and brought to the hospital after delivery, depending on how long that process takes for you.

In summary, a labor bag is focused on items needed for labor and delivery, while a postpartum bag is focused on items needed for recovery and breastfeeding after delivery.

Wrapping Up Thoughts on When to Pack Your Hospital Bag

It's generally a good idea to pack your hospital bag by the time you reach 35 weeks of pregnancy. This allows you to be prepared in case of an unexpected early delivery, while also giving you enough time to gather any last-minute items or make adjustments to your bag.

Remember that every pregnancy and birth is unique, so it's important to personalize your hospital bag according to your own needs and preferences. Don't hesitate to discuss any questions or concerns you have with your healthcare provider, who can provide additional guidance and recommendations.

In summary, by following the guidelines and tips provided in this article, you can help ensure that you're prepared for the birth of your baby and that you have a more comfortable and stress-free hospital stay.